Average Depth: 50 ft.
Max Depth: 140 ft.
Paradise Springs is a commercially operated dive site conveniently located off Highway 441 south of Ocala. It is an advanced (cavern and cave) dive, so open water divers should limit their depth to 60 feet while those with cavern and cave training are welcome to go further.
Unlike many springs open to divers there is no large pool and no stream or run flowing from it. Paradise Springs is a “Karst Window” – an opening to an underground stream. History doesn’t record when the earth collapsed, revealing the clear water below, but the years have made the landscape dramatic. Set among the rolling hills of the Ocala area terrain and shaded by magnificent oak trees, the view from the steps down to the water is quite picturesque.
The maximum depth at Paradise Springs is 140 feet. At best the whole spring should be considered to be a cavern dive and divers should be appropriately trained for an overhead environment. Anything below 100 feet is absolutely a cave dive and should not be attempted without the correct training, equipment, and gas mix. Divers need lights throughout the dive. The entrance fee is $27, though reservations are no longer accepted and there are air fills available on the site for about $5. This is a nice dive with visibility often being excellent, although divers should arrive early or during a weekday to avoid the crowd.
The huge cavern area with prehistoric fossils embedded in the walls makes every dive interesting and enjoyable. The strata of prehistoric limestone that was once beneath the sea are clearly visible as divers make their way around the large water filled room and at every turn more fossils are revealed.
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